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A Trio of Massage Treatments

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: October 28, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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The Herbal Balancing Treatment is a great service for most of your clients—except those who are pregnant or experience hypertension—but the best recipients are those who are highly stressed with nervous disorders, insomnia and anxiety, and those who are overly busy and overworked. The service works to soothe and pacify the nervous system to help ground the client and restore a sense of balance. These are the types of clients who you should focus on when marketing this treatment. To tie in retail, consider selling the oils used in the actual treatment to help clients bring the experience home.

Mama Felice Tangerineand Rosehip Prenatal Massage: The Spa at Ravella, Lake Las Vegas, Nevada

The Mama Felice Tangerine and Rosehip Prenatal Massage features a blend of organic oils that nourishes the skin and helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It includes a relaxing massage that releases tension from tired muscles, and is emotionally calming and safe for both mother and baby. The organic oil blend uplifts spirits with organic tangerine and jasmine oils, as wheat germ and rosehip help feed and protect the skin. According to Nancy DiMaio, director of spa and fitness, the massage is meant to help ease fatigue caused by pregnancy, offering a state of peaceful contentment. Although prenatal massages can often be found on service menus, this treatment takes into account the mother-to-be’s mind and spirit, as well as her body, by using the oils to help elevate the mood, lift spirits and restore a sense of calm while treating the skin.

The Mama Felice Massage can be performed as a 50- or 80-minute service, and mothers are supported by a pregnancy cushion or are asked to lie on their side, depending on her comfort. In this massage, tangerine and rosehip prenatal massage oil is used and is completely safe for both mom and baby. Aromatherapy can be an added service in this treatment—lavender is great for relaxation and also is safe. The intention of this treatment is to pamper and refresh mom, reduce discomfort and swelling, and release natural endorphins. Extra attention should be given to mom’s aching back and hips, or wherever her discomfort may be.

According to DiMaio, the service is perfect for pregnant women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy, so consider this client group when devising your marketing strategies. Retail can be tied into this treatment by offering shea butter made with essential oils that is used in the treatment to help keep her skin quenched and nourished while helping to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. As always, be sure to discuss the client’s health history and ask her to fill out a health history form while waiting for the service.

Shoshin Shiatsu Treatment: Urban Oasis, Chicago

According to Randy Cummins, shiatsu instructor, massage therapist at Urban Oasis in Chicago and founder of, Shiatsu is a traditional form of bodywork that originated in China and is based on an observation of nature. “In the teaching of shiatsu, there is a lot of common wisdom about how to treat yourself, change with the seasons and exercise. Shaitsu is performed on mats on the floor and the client is fully clothed, so that can supply a built-in sense of comfort for some people,” explains Cummins. Shiatsu uses the same concepts, approaches and techniques as acupuncture, without the needles, and has a strong resemblance to yoga. As far as appropriate clients, shiatsu is good for everyone except those who are pregnant, are healing from burns and infections or have new scars and injuries, and is meant to be a preventive form of bodywork. The stretches are intended to keep the body healthy, but it is very good for common injuries and pattern injuries, such as when people have shoulder and neck pain from working on computers. It is also good for athletes. Remember these clients when developing your marketing strategy. Consider selling mats and instructional booklets in your retail area. Also, teach clients stretches they can do at home.